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Last updated on January 10, 2024
Makadi Bay is an important resort town located some 25 miles/40 kilometers south of Hurghada. Known for its crystal-clear and sheltered waters, it has 15 seafront hotels, all of them giving access to shallow reefs. The northern shores of Makadi Bay feature good snorkeling, both above the small reefs facing Fort Arabesque Beach or along the northern drop-off area. In these areas, you will come across a myriad of colorful fish and invertebrates living in a shimmering underwater landscape.
Makadi Bay is located about 25 miles/40 kilometers south of the city of Hurghada and 18 miles/30 kilometers south of the airport. This spot covers a mile-long coral reef that fringes the northern shore of Makadi Bay. It includes the house reef of the Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas, which is one of the large resorts bordering Makadi Bay.
The easiest way to access this spot is to stay at one of the resorts located along the northern shore of the bay: the Sunrise Resort, the Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas, the Grand Waterworld Makadi, the Makadi Spa Hotel, or the Grand Makadi. The Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas has the best house reef with beach access. You can also access the reef from the jetty at the northern limit of the resort area (see Makadi Móló on the map below).
The water entrance is:
There are two main snorkeling areas at Makadi Bay North.
Starting from the shore, you will first cross the shallow reef flat that fringes the beach. Over 40 meters wide, the bottoms are not spectacular, but you can see many small fish at very shallow depths (↕1-3 feet/0.5-1 meter).
After the shallow reef, you will come to a deeper area. This is the best snorkeling location. Here, dozens of small reefs are scattered on the sandy bottom. Reef tops are in two feet or so of water and each ‘mini-reef’ drops off to between 6-20 feet/2-6 meters.
The best-preserved reefs are covered with magnificent corals in pink, yellow and bluish tones. Close to shore, the coral is inevitably affected by the movement of people, but a little further out it is in remarkably good health. This healthy coral is a testament to the efforts of the hotel to educate people on how to respect the reefs.
Reefs are like an I-spy book of Red Sea fishes. There is a large variety of these fish and they are fairly used to snorkelers. The butterflies are very inquisitive. Amongst the most common fish species at reef are the sulphur damselfish, the regal angelfish, the bluecheek butterflyfish, the Red Sea bannerfish, and several species of parrotfish.
When exploring the small reefs, you may also have the chance to surprise a moray eel, an octopus, a lionfish, or a ray. In total, more than a hundred reef fish species live in Makadi Bay shore waters.
Advanced snorkelers can consider entering the water from Makadi jetty and drift snorkeling all the way to Fort Arabesque beach (1 mile/1.6 kilometer).
While the reef is larger here, the reef flat can’t be snorkeled as it is too shallow. Follow the drop-off to your right and you will observe an incredible diversity of sea life.
This spot is the house reef of the Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas, which offers different types of accommodation and several restaurants and bars.
These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.
This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.
Red sea raccoon butterflyfish Chaetodon fasciatus taken 05 March 2023
Added to the species list, many thanks!
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
Fringing reef with coral, seagrass beds and colorful fish
Fringing reef with coral and colorful fish
Series of patch reefs with kaleidoscopic sea life
Vibrant reef drop off with colorful fish
Free shore access
Reef flat and drop off with colorful fish